HCM City has set up a special task force to look into the expansion of the Tan Son Nhat Airport and submit to the Government in early September (Photo: thanhnien.vn)

HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City has set up a special task force to look into the expansion of the Tan Son Nhat Airport and submit to the Government in early September, the city’s top leader has said.

[HCM City agrees to expand capacity of Tan Son Nhat airport]

Speaking with 200 voters in Cu Chi district last weekend, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan said the city has hired eight leading aviation experts and architects to make studies on expansion of the Tan Son Nhat airport to the golf course. At the end of this year, the city’s authorities will hold a meeting with Government officials to discuss how to effectively use the golf course land to expand the airport.

Since the airport has only one gate on Truong Son road, traffic congestion is inevitable, he said. “The airport needs at least one more gate,” he stressed.

He told voters that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had held a meeting with 15 relevant ministries, industries and HCM City to discuss if the golf course should be kept and development of the airport.

The PM instructed them to hire an international consultancy for the expansion work and report to him by the end of the year, Nhan said.

Deputy Minister of Defence Le Chiem assured that if the Government wants to use the golf course for developing the aviation industry, his ministry will be ready to transfer it, he added.

The special task force includes Assoc Prof Dr Nguyen Thien Tong, former head of the HCM City Polytechnic University’s aviation technology faculty; Dr Tran Tien Anh, the current head; former director of Tan Son Nhat Airport, Phan Tuong; pilot and former deputy director of Vietnam Airlines, Nguyen Thanh Trung; pilot and principal of Vietnam Airlines’ Flight Training Centre, Nguyen Nam Lien; and architect Ngo Viet Nam Son.

The task force will review two plans to expand the airport northwards. The first involves building one more runway and the second involves expanding the parking lot, building more terminals and streamline the airport management to improve efficiency.

“We prefer the second plan because building one more runway will be very expensive and it is not necessary,” Trung said.

With its two existing runways, the airport can double capacity with efficient management, he said.

He pointed out that the two runways now function like one because two aircraft cannot land and take-off at the same time. Besides, the mandatory gap between aeroplanes of 16km is too large and causes each landing and take-off to take five minutes.

“If we have good management and the gap is eight kilometres, Tan Son Nhat can receive 30 aircraft each hour instead of the current 12.”

The task force would identify the best expansion plan and also make plans to ease traffic congestion around the airport, he said. Son would be in charge of the latter, he added.-VNA